We Have Only Just Begun

Rumors of America’s demise have been grossly exaggerated. We have only just begun.

And we’re such a new thing upon the world, a credal nation, based on the idea the government owes the people something, and not the other way around, that we’re going to stumble and do stupid things.

Of course we are. Millennia of experience of human societies argue against what we aim to become: a nation of free individuals.

The monkey brain itself argues against it. But then the monkey brain is fine with communism, so it can step right off, into the dark of night with the sound of helicopters in the distance.

We will stumble. It could be argued the entire 20th century’s experimentation with centralization was a stumble. It was a prolonged and bad one. Recovering from it will be very hard.

My dad had rheumatic fever at seven, and wasn’t able to walk till he was eight, at which point he had to relearn to walk, like a baby.

It’s going to be like that, with all the challenges posed by changing technology. With innovation and rapidly changing every day capacity in our way. We’re going to have to relearn to walk as a nation of free individuals.

You can tell why the left are locked in the positions they are by their reactions. They can’t imagine the future but as a repetition of the past. So they think unless we stumble ever “forward” on their path, ever more centralized, ever more authoritarian, we’re going to “go back” to an agrarian slavery-bound society.

This makes no sense to anyone who understands there is change — real change, not dictated change — and that humans evolve and adapt to meet changed technological landscapes.

This also explains their fear of “climate change” because if the world isn’t exactly as they know it, forever, it’s all doom and death noooooowwwwwww.

They talk of extinction in 12 years, a timeline that makes no sense for geological processes, because they fear their psychological extinction, the end of who they are and what they believe, and to them that’s death.

It also explains why they often come across like adolescents. “Nooooooo. I don’t want to do that. That would chaaaaaaange me.” Instead they retreat ever further back into childhood while demanding safe spaces and coloring books and that no one say anything “mean.”

But…. look, growth is pain.

I’m one of those people cursed with a good memory for my own psychological development. (Unfortunately these days more concrete memories including what happened where at pivotal points of my life vanish. Aging sucks.) I remember sitting in the dark many times, realizing I’d have to change to meet changed circumstances and feeling like I was coming apart, and dying.

In a way I was. Life is a series of little deaths (the young man who sniggered in the corner can think shame on himself) in which we change a little every day, and then look back and go “I was that? I thought that? How even?”

But there are moments when we have to do it suddenly, because, mostly through our actions, things changed markedly. Like when you get married. Or the first time you hold your own infant child, for whom you’re responsible till they’re self sufficient (runs screaming into the night) or when you move. Or when you change jobs. Or when your job changes on you.

Each of this entails a little death (raises eyebrow in a quelling manner) and a little rebirth.

Our nation is like that too, and because we’re very new, a brand new creature among the nations, we will stumble and do stupid things. After all, we don’t have any models LIKE us, so we emulate the old horrors, because of course we do.

And sometimes things will get very bad. I suspect we have a spell coming up, because I suspect the idiots will think it’s just fine to cheat again in November. And I can feel it getting really, really ugly. But perhaps it’s needed, to show what will not be accepted. This is the line you don’t cross. We the people are not amused….

But as long as some of us remember the Constitution and the concept of America, we will come back.

You see, by the people we attract, by the concept of our birth, by everything we do and are, we are not a tame hothouse flower.

We’re a weed. And nothing can stop us. Which is why so many abroad hate us. They know our ideas, our concepts are coming for them.

We have only just begun. Yeah, the 20th century was bad, and as its ways die, it feels like we’re coming apart. But that’s what a sudden need to grow up feels like.

Here, light your torch of freedom from mine.

The future is that way. And we’re going there, becoming more free, more innovative, more infectious along the way.

No more central dictates. No more power concentrated on feeble, crazed hands. No more top-down “innovation.”

The future happens in freedom. It happens individual by individual, as we die to the past and rebuild more adaptable, faster, more niche, more varied, more knowledgeably (because no one knows your business better than you.)

That’s where America set out to go 200 years ago, and that’s where we’re going.

We are the best hope of humanity.

And humanity has a universe to conquer.

454 thoughts on “We Have Only Just Begun

  1. “And humanity has a universe to conquer.”

    May the Emperor guide us… (okay, been watching a Let’s Play of one of the Warhammer 40K games that’s come out recently.)

    1. Which one? There have been several, and I’m always looking for good Let’s Plays.

      1. WH40K Chaosgate – Daemon Hunters. There’s a gamer named Christopher Odd who’s been going through that for the last several weeks. Usually watch his X-COM2 playthroughs but this looked a bit interesting.

        1. It’s a good game, and you can do some crazy stuff while playing it.

          Yes, I speak from experience.

  2. In my 65+ lifetime there have been plenty of times when the “US IS DOOMED” Flag has been flown and the US is still here.

    There have been plenty times in the Past when Intelligent people could have wondered if America was doomed but America is still here.

    Who in Europe would have believed that thirteen little countries on the East Coast of North America could have formed a permanent union let along growing to power to rival and/or surpass the Great Powers of Europe? But we did.

    Nothing including the US lasts forever but G*D Willing I think the US will last for decades to come.

      1. Point.

        The physical Nation of the US may die but the Ideals that we support could live on indefinitely.

          1. Yes and I’ve also read plenty of other SF where the Spirit Of America survives on other worlds under other suns. 😀

        1. S.M. Stirling has has a priest tell one of his flock (something on the order of) “You are an immortal being. When the stars have grown cold, you will still be, infinitely beautiful and glorious, or infinitely hideous and deformed.”. We really should take a long view. While we live the USA lives.

      2. Maybe it’s just youthful idealism. Maybe it’s my tendency towards the dramatic…

        But I’d like to hope that when we do fall, it will be in glory. Taking millions of {Name of Future Evil Hordes Here} with us.

  3. “They can’t imagine the future but as a repetition of the past.” A very wise statement.

    Sometimes I forget that we are such a young nation. A creedal nation is something unique in history, so every day we survive, we set a new record. In the famous motto of John Carter, “I still live!”

    Remember the Constitution starts with “We the people, in order to form a MORE perfect union…” Not a perfect union or nation, but one that we have to continually work to make better. WE STILL LIVE!

    1. And the recent past too. None of them are imagining a world where women have ten children on average if they live through their childbearing years.

      1. And only two or three of them survive to adulthood. Sanitation, antibiotics and vaccines have increased life expectancy so much that people think it’s a natural thing and can continue regardless of what they do to knock out the pillars of behavior that gave rise to it.

        1. That’s why they had them. Any culture that didn’t, was breeding below replacement.

  4. I’d like to make a strong recommendation to everyone who reads this blog (and everyone each one of you can pass it on to): get to know your state representative and state senator, if not personally then via email or even postal letter. You may not find them responsive, but then again, you might! I know my state representative replies to my queries and thoughts personally and directly. Hey, if we’re going to guide them we have to talk to them, and come across as thoughtful, intelligent people.

    1. /sigh
      drloss, that would imply that they’re reachable and teachable. Evidence shows that’s not likely with Reps Pappas or Kuster or Sens Kuster, or Sens Hassan or Shaheen. The best we can do is remove them from office in a couple of months; and we have several good conservatives running for the House, and one possible for the Senate.

      1. I’m not talking about your federal representative or senator(s), I’m talking about the folks in your state legislature. They don’t get nearly as much input from the folks the represent as the feds do, so your voice will be correspondingly stronger there.

        1. Ah! well, in that case, be at ease. My next door neighbor is our state representative. I even told him I was hurt that he had a gun shoot last summer and hadn’t invited me.

        2. Good point. While the GOPe in Oregon acts as a cross between a whipped dog and the junior membership of the permanent bipartisan fusion party (spit!), the state rep and senator both are red-blooded Good People.

          Alas, our RINO congress critter has proven to be as bad as we feared. Didn’t have any luck kicking him out in the primary (curses vote-fraud by mail as Oregon law), but we’ll keep trying.

            1. Yeah, and any attempt to curtail it would need (wait for it) a mail-in election. Unless the entire state leadership does a perp walk, we’ll continue to be screwed. Thus the enduring popularity of attempting to split the flyover counties from Portlandia. They can keep the name; we just want our freedom and something approaching fair elections.

                1. I gather it was passed into law in Oregon somewhere in the mid-late ’90s. I don’t know if it would pass constitutional muster, though the vote-by-mail-by-edict has to be overturned first. I suspect it would fall under federalism/state’s rights, which are vastly important when progressives want it.

  5. I cannot overstate how much I think you should change “the idea the government owes the people something” to “the idea that government is the servant of and responsible to the people.”

    Go ahead and think about it. Remember that you hadn’t had your full load of caffeine coursing through your veins when you wrote that paean to the welfare state. Then change it because that is NOT what you meant.

    1. The former has just become the popular way to claim your neighbor owes you something, take it at gunpoint, and pretend it isn’t theft.

      Like all socialist systems, it finds a way to make everyone participate in the lie. Take social security, for example. We all know it is a pay-as-you-go scheme but, come your 60s, you think “I was forced to pay into it, so I’m owed it now.” This is really saying, “I was robbed while I was working so now I’m entitled to rob people still working,” but dressed up in government.

      1. But it’s not a Ponzi scheme with mandatory participation on pain of imprisonment, it’s a Trust Fund! it says so right on the label! And that “fact” has been stated numerous times by numerous parasites (excuse me, “members of Congress”).

        1. been stated numerous times by numerous parasites (excuse me, “members of Congress”

          “been stated numerous times by “members of Congress” numerous parasites”

          FIFY You’re welcome.

          1. Yeah…The problem is that I have no idea how to implement a strikeout in this venue. But I believe that the way I put it gets the same point across. 🙂

            1. It did get the point across. Just think it is funnier the other way.

              I use < DEL > and < /DEL > (remove spaces between < and > ). FYI. Different options will be offered if you ask how to do something. OTOH WP keeps changing the parameters.

              1. OK; thanks to you both. I get the impression that WP is a law unto itself, so I’ll probably keep doing what’s worked so far. 🙂 For instance, I don’t have easy access to emojis while typing here, so the “smiley” above is the usual ASCII colon,hyphen,close-paren I’ve used for decades in Usenet and text email (no spaces and separated from text by a space) which WP converts to a smiley. It also works for frowns, winks, and I’d assume others: 🙂 😦 😉

  6. IF they decide to cheat in November again, I suspect there will be deaths this time.
    Any attempt to block a call for a legal audit of a suspect vote is likely (and justifiably) going to put a big target on the backs of any bureaucrat, politician, lawyer or judge who tries to hinder that process. Personally, I’d prefer they were only dragged out of office, beaten, tarred and feathered, and never allowed in a position of authority ever again to merely shooting or stringing them up, but then I’m weird in hoping they might finally learn from the experience, and dead people can’t learn anything.

    1. Yeah, the Biden regime has sent out notifications to every possible government agency to assist with “voter registration” and hasn’t responded to a single FOIA or other request for documentation. So they’ve already started the cheating. Unfortunately once the fraudulent votes are collected it’s pretty much impossible to identify them. Which they know. I suspect that all that they’ve learned from things such as 2000 Mules is what not to do.

      1. Yeah, and virtually all of it is in violation of the Hatch Act. Notice that isn’t even causing them to hesitate.

        1. After all, ignorance of the law is always an excuse — for Leftists.

          Nice hopeful headline: https://freebeacon.com/biden-administration/special-counsel-slaps-granholm-with-hatch-act-violation-after-free-beacon-report/

          Actual result:

          “Though the government investigation found Granholm guilty of violating the Hatch Act, it said it chose not to levy any punishment because the Biden administration had failed to train Granholm on the Hatch Act, the letter explains.

          “Although the [Office of Special Counsel] concluded Secretary Granholm violated the Hatch Act, the evidence gathered during our investigation does not support the conclusion that it was a knowing violation,” the letter states. “Specifically, OSC learned that, before the interview, she had not received significant training about the Hatch Act’s use of official authority prohibition.”

          Erica Hamrick, deputy chief of the Special Counsel’s Hatch Act Unit and author of the letter on Granholm’s violation, did not respond to an inquiry on Granholm’s ignorance of the law.

    2. The time to stop election fraud or other shenanigans is before, not after. If you can possibly do so, volunteer to be an election judge. In much of the country the ranks of the people running elections are dominated by Democrats. There just aren’t enough conservative or Republican volunteers. One of the things that made a difference last fall in Virginia was a campaign to get more Republicans involved in running the elections. It takes a bigger time commitment than just being a Poll Watcher, but it has a much greater impact on making it harder to cheat.

      1. “There just aren’t enough conservative or Republican volunteers.”

        Horseshit of the purest ray serene. What there isn’t is an unbiased selection process. If your county is run by Democrats, there will be no conservatives picked. You may get “Republicans.”

          1. Yep. Now, show me where they explain how to determine what the ACTUAL selection process is, and most importantly, who is doing the selection even at the state level. Oh, right, they don’t.

            Been involved with True The Vote since it was founded, and the biggest obstacle we have is getting honest answers from blue counties.

                1. Reminds me of that old joke — God threatens to sue the Devil, the Devil breaks down laughing. God says, “What’s so funny?” The Devil says, “Where are YOU going to find a lawyer?”

          1. And quickly. Two days after he puts out that steaming pile, we have this. I’m SURE it was just a coincidence……


            “In an attempt to “improve transparency and information sharing,” the California Attorney General’s office published a firearms data dashboard Monday. Yes, despite the fact that California’s state government isn’t interested in transparency in any other area, they spent tax dollars to get information on CCW permit issuance, Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs), “assault” weapon registrations, and Dealer Record of Sales (DROS). But the data was much too transparent, and included personally identifying information (PII) for all CCW holders, including judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and law enforcement officers, statewide, and could be downloaded by any user.”

      2. They don’t want enough volunteers.

        I had bypass surgery on October 28, 2022. I offered to volunteer for the Senate runoff in GA the following January. On the volunteer form, the only two things I did not check were “host a fundraiser in my home” and “walk my precinct knocking on doors”. The latter was clearly not within my capabilities at the time. Hosting probably wasn’t either.

        I heard nothing back.

        If I had offered to host a fundraiser I probably would have gotten a call within the hour.

    3. That’s the fundamental problem of refusing to punish wrongdoers through official channels. When people decide they cannot trust the law to act they will be so angry that the villains will wish the law was there.

      They have forgotten the wind exists having too long sheltered in the forest of the law.

  7. I think you are over generous to the Progressive Establishment ninnies. They don’t fear some society of serfs. What they fear is the dissolution of their fantasy world, which keeps them from facing that they are truly inconsequential people. Progressivism is a religion, and since progressivism and it’s internal ‘logic’ is the majority of what they have studied, they are theologians and when a religion is proved false, it’s theologians are worthless.

    1. Progressivism version of “logic” is more of an anti-logic. They explicitly avoid trying to make their beliefs consistent. Although individualism has certainly become a “right” wing value these days, there’s a weird sort of “I can be anything I want to be” radical individualism attached to progressivism, which generally means picking some group and denying reality right and left to insist that you are “really” a member of that group. Reality denialism.

      1. They are no worse – but no better – than the general run of historical ‘Elite’s. The theology that supported the Divine Right of Kings was Weldon applied evenly. The ‘negroes are children, we must take care of them’ drivel of the Southern Planters was a singularly threadbare excuse. The Knights were delighted with the privileges of the Code of Chivalry, and tended to forget any duties that didn’t involve pleasing the powerful. Ditto the Code of Bushido and the Samurai. They all embraced ‘reasoning’ that had precious little to do with actual Reason.

        The only ‘elite’ I’ve every had much sympathy for were the Industrialists, and that’s because they actually BUILT wealth. They only sometimes cared about the Commoners, but their work improved everybody’s lot, across the board, if not evenly. Naturally the Progressives, who produce next to nothing, hate them with with a passion.

        1. If you squint a bit, a lot of history is one elite hanging onto their position and power with everything they have while another would-be elite attacks them in order to put themselves in the same position.

          1. “They kill a lot of people, overthrow their corrupt rulers and replace them with a new batch of corrupt rulers. Viva la revolution! Yesterday’s oppressed become tomorrow’s oppressors.”

            1. I like the passage in the new testament about a being nation of priests and kings. Religiously, we’re a bunch of fractious individuals, squabbling about the details, but determined to figure it out ourselves. Politically, we’re the people who say “Master? That summbitch ain’t been born.” Whether explicitly or assumed.

            2. A visiting European dignitary asked one of Theodore Roosevelt’s ranch hands “Do you know where your master is?”

              “Well,” responded the hand “I figure the sumbitch ain’t been born yet.”

        2. They still believe “Negroes are children, we must take care of them.” How else to explain the idea that having ID to vote is somehow “racist,” while having ID to buy liquor is not?
          Everything they present as being “helpful,” is restrictive.

            1. If you need a better example of how blind their own bigotry they are than that headline, I doubt I could provide one.

              1. Wait, was that an actual headline?!? If so, I’m amazed that even lefty “journalists” (BIRM) are that clueless.

        3. My small town is named after its founders, a pair of brothers. And the heart of town is convenient and beautifully-planned, in a manner which the wannabe-Euro “city planners” would weep to behold if they could bear the sight of rednecks like us. Because the brothers were egotistical and wanted “Brother Library” and “Brother Park” and “Other Brother Park” and “Brother Downtown” within walking distance of each other.

          I will trust industrialist egos ANY DAY over “for your own good” scolding, thanks.

  8. “Life is a series of little deaths (the young man who sniggered in the corner can think shame on himself)”

    Young man? To quote the good Don, or his character, that is, “I am no man!”

    1. Also, “young” man? How many young people have heard of the phrase la petite mort? Older people are, IMHO, far more likely to be the ones to get the possible double meaning.

      1. Depends on how you define “young”, I suppose. I’m only 41. (I still have my virility, to quote the Holy Musical. Even though not a vir.)

            1. Mr. Adams, damn you Mr. Adams
              You’re obnoxious and disliked; that cannot be denied
              Once again you stand between me and my lovely bride
              Oh, Mr. Adams, you are driving me to homicide!

              1. “Now, you’ll write it, Mr. J.!”
                “Who will make me, Mr. A.?”
                “By physical force, if necessary.”

                As an amusing aside, I was in 8th grade during the 1976-1977 school year. My English teacher that year, Mrs. Hall, had our class of around 30 students read aloud the play 1776, with various students rotating through the roles (she used a record player for the songs from the Broadway soundtrack).

                I was the only student who didn’t rotate, as she kept me cast as John Adams from beginning to end. Perhaps it was because I actually read the role in character (as opposed to merely reading the words), or perhaps it was because I was, as a youth, “obnoxious and disliked,” I don’t know. It is still a fond memory of a generally unpleasant time in school.

                1. Used to be a family tradition that we’d watch the movie adaptation every 4th of July. At Little Brother’s insistence. And Little Brother would cheer when Jefferson proclaimed that he attended William & Mary because that was Little Brother’s undergrad alma mater.

                  Sadly, those days are gone. Partly because everybody’s grown and gotten jobs and moved away so Little Brother no longer comes home on the 4th of July… and partly (I fear) because Little Brother has taken a job in Academia in the heart of East Coast Leftist Paradise and has drank the Kool-Aid.

                  Whatever. The movie’s on Prime. I think I know what I’ll be doing for about 3 hours on Monday….

      2. I know the term but it brings James Coco playing Poirot in Murder by Death to mind. You really need to be over acting to make it work.

      1. I learned it in French first, so in English, I go to Dune, then a few other places, unless the context is very, very clear.

        1. For once that wasn’t it…it was a bunch of twitchy snark about impeaching justices who lied at confirmation hearing like about not being able to tell men from women.

  9. I’m English, so my experience is a bit different. But I can remember the drone of German Heinkels overhead in the night and the shortages we had (even with US help). I also remember only too well how ‘fairness’ was used as an excuse to maintain rationing here long after it was needed, but a new Government put paid to that. Don’t despair at temporary setbacks, the Left cannot win in the long run.

    1. The ‘experts’ did studies that ‘proved’ that the English deity under rationing was healthier. Naturally, they held on as long as they could….

      1. Sounds like the “studies” the Japanese did during the War that found that Japanese weren’t able to properly digest beef (which – purely by coincidence, of course – was in short supply during the War) because their intestines were a few inches shorter than those of gaijin.

      1. Privately we might be able to help–I think there’d be a strong will to do so. Officially, the regime is so stupid, if they were birds they’d be turkeys looking up into the rain.

  10. “What do we do now?”
    “Just be yourselves.”
    Braveheart, the scene just before the Battle of Stirling.

    I think it’s just that simple: we are Americans. No one understands that we’re not just an “outlier,” we make our own rules. America is, like the Everglades, its own definition.

    I, too, have sat in darkness, dying, knowing I had to stand up and walk up those stairs many times. I’m walking upward as I write, and I see your smiling faces and outstretched hands at the small circle of light at the top of this hole!

    1. I just got back from walking Bannockburn, and Sterling. I now have a Declaration of Arbroath banner for my classroom. Among other things.

      1. My family visited Stirling, Dad went more than once.
        I hope to go someday.

        1. I refuse to go to Culloden. If Kalkriese gave me cold chills, I really do NOT care to find out what I’d cross paths with at Culloden.

          1. I wasn’t actually speaking to the otherworldly effects (though even fairly (at the time) spirit-blind I felt ‘the Willies’) so much as the ‘Those puir ba****ds had to advance near half a mile, jumping hillock to hillock (or worse, maneuvering around them, thus disorganizing their formation even more radically) against superior numbers keeping them under continuous massed musket and artillery fire.’

    2. I think it’s just that simple: we are Americans. No one understands that we’re not just an “outlier,” we make our own rules.

      Maybe we are an “outlier” — but if so it’s because we’re an entire nation of outliers, that outlier-hood is a big part of our collective American culture and identity, and has been since before there was formally an “America” for us to inhabit.

      (Americans. Willing to cross a frozen river at midnight on Christmas Eve to cut your throats as you sleep in your beds. No, really, we’ve done it before…) Or so I roughly remember the meme caption runs.

      If you’re a “nation of outliers” and not just an “outlier nation” (by chance, maybe for a while)… that makes you very far different and distinct from their accustomed “average” — different in a very statistically significant way.

      “No, no, we’re all like that. All the time.”

      Something new under the sun.

      1. Beautifully said!
        My favorite part: “(Americans. Willing to cross a frozen river at midnight on Christmas Eve to cut your throats as you sleep in your beds. No, really, we’ve done it before…) Or so I roughly remember the meme caption runs.”

        This is our heritage.

      2. I know the HFY (Humanity F— Yeah!) stuff. But it seems it’s mainly an American (USA, rather than N./S. America) thing. Have ANY HFY stories come from Europe? Asia? Africa? S. America? Now, I could (just) see a few coming from Australia.

        1. Agro Squerril, whose entire channel was reading HFY, is Australian. I think the concept has worldwide appeal and readership; I just don’t know where most of the authors are from.

  11. At one time, those hemmed in “went West”. Be it over the ocean, to Americas, or over land toward the Pacific. That option is pretty much closed. Sure we can still change to states that more match our beliefs. But leaving to somewhere not part of America or another country is right out. Well there is the option of the open sea (no thanks, I get sea sick, really bad). The next frontier is up, up, and away. Habitats in space, on the moon, another planet.

    1. And this is why Die Left (or Das Left, it will NEVER be Der Left…) is against actual advancements in space travel: it means a loss of control over others. And an Obvious Destruction of Das Narratif (über Alles! Sieg Heil!).

      1. Das Left please we wouldn’t want to mis gender them (although Das Left might be Miss gendering them). I will now flee to the carp proof shelter…

  12. Notice how most of the Democrat’s hate over the Roe v Wade decision has been directed against the black guy? Very telling, that.

    1. He was supposed to be on their side! They feel betrayed. 😛
      Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!

      1. This is the process by which I became a white Mormon male.
        What amazes me are those people nominally on our side who BELIEVE I’m Mormon, solely based on the left’s nonsense. WTF?

            1. And the relaying thereof. Why, I even gifted a bottle of Jeppson’s Malört to (to-be) Docktor-son via Sarah at LibertyCon. (No, it’s not vengeance. Turns out he is as strange as ox in that way: he likes the stuff).

              1. No, he is doctor son. He’s just not done with post doctor stuff. 😉
                And yes, he’s happy about it. We’ll convey it to him for his birthday. He relays his thank you.

                  1. So basically it’s like absinthe, except without the sugar or smoothness?

                    The sad thing is that I might like it. I think my body has given up on protecting me from bitterness, and is now trying to pickle me in stuff like Italian rhubarb digestives.

            2. I discovered Seedlip. I like Seedlip. It costs $30+/bottle, darn it, and that’s without adding real tonic.

      2. And when they feel betrayed, they start talking like the Klan again. It’s sad how much of what they say about us starts to make sense if we imagine they can’t see us at all and are really yelling at mirrors.

          1. They hate us for the lies told about us by our enemies. Just like they hate the cops for what criminals do.
            You can have a civilized society, or you can have mob rule. You can’t have both.

          2. Yes, indeed, the last several days have been deja-vu all over again of every left-wing temper tantrum since I started paying attention back in ’07 or ’08.

          3. You would think that after the 50th time saying that we will change our mind of 2A if minorities get guns and getting slapped for it they would learn.

            And yet here we are.

            1. And interestingly, Clarence Thomas had something to say about that in his N. Y. Rifle & Pistol majority opinion. Based on the old Dred Scott opinion, surely co-infamous with Roe for sheer judicial, ah, creativity. (Here I’m quoting lazily from Uncover DC’s article, I haven’t even read the whole original thing at its 63+ pages yet.):

              Dred Scott v. Sanford also informed Thomas’ opinion, an interesting entry in the age of identity politics.

              “Chief Justice Taney,” wrote Thomas, “offered what he thought was a parade of horrible that would result from recognizing that free blacks were citizens of the United States. If blacks were citizens, Taney fretted, they would be entitled to the privileges and immunities of citizens, including “the right to keep and carry arms wherever they went.”

              Thomas used the case to elucidate further that “even Justice Taney recognized (albeit enthusiastically in the case of blacks) that public carry was a component of the right to keep and bear arms — a right free blacks were often denied in antebellum America.”

              Isn’t the festival of irony (for us) and comeuppance (for racists who always gotta racist) delicious?

              1. He released that opinion on his own birthday. You know — you KNOW — that he’s been saving up that little morsel for years and years and years, just so he could dance on Roger Taney’s grave and use him as a stepstool too.

                Which is fair, because sadly Taney was Catholic. (And maybe it will help Taney get out of Purgatory a bit sooner, if he helps Thomas inadvertently with his opinions and advertently with his prayers.)

                1. Now I have a mental image of Thmoas in full regalia dancing a jig on Taney’s grave. Go, Clarence, go!

            2. Funny how about 33% of all the recent gun sales have been to women. And I’ve never had a problem with people of non-Northern European origin having guns.

            1. They have met us. They probably didn’t realize we were evil RethugliKKKlans because we treated them like human beings and don’t have horns.

              Er, present company excepted, of course.

                1. There is some book, “What Color is Your Parachute?”

                  Perhaps a riff is called for: “What Color Are Your Horns?”

                  (FWIW, mine are a sort of ivory/off-white. Despite the claims of co-workers that they are or should be black and/or red. Also, my tail is not barbed. My hooves are cloven, however.)

                2. Having met you, I finally get the “accent that wanders all over Europe” gag.

              1. Oh, the many, Many, MANY times I have seen “It was easier to come out as gay to conservatives than it was to come out as conservative to… anyone else.”

        1. Think it’s bad now, wait until November. The DNC will be wearing white hoods in a week.

        2. They are always talking like the Klan. Just, since the Civil Rights era, they think they can get by with treating their property as house n***** and it’ll be fine.

          That’s why Thomas and people like him make them mad…they’re runaways. Thomas is also a miscegenationist as well…notice how they’re hammering on his white wife lately.

    2. The LA times is leading a piece by asking how concerned we’ll be when we see blacks carrying in public.

      1. Oh, and the craziest take on the decision I’ve heard so far ? It was motivated by . . . white supremacy.

        Anyone who thinks that should look into the history of Planned Parenthood and get back to us.

        1. Sorry, this comment ended up as a reply for some reason. It was meant to stand on its own.

          1. Something about forcing Dems out of red states to increase GOP voting blocs. It was a bit vague and hysterical. I guess they’re still stuck in the “conservative = white” mindset. At least until they see the November results and have to start redefining “white”.

              1. IMO Orwell is frowning.

                He wrote a Warning not An Instruction Manual.

                  1. Rand is the one I increasingly owe an apology.

                    Although I still think she’d learned to reflexively hate even more than me.

                1. Orwell isn’t frowning. He’s trying desperately to claw his way out of the grave while screaming, “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!”

        2. They should also look at the percentage of black abortions compared to the entire population.

        1. I’m thrilled to see new people at the range, no matter what paint chip they match. That is, I’m thrilled as long as they leave a bay open for me, and follow the rules.

          1. $HOUSEMATE and I once visited a local outdoor range and saw a.. how to put this… Gang of Idiots… and left. They could Idiot without us. Yes. ox saying this. Ox slow. Ox NOT damn fool!

            1. It varies from “at least as good and safe as a managed range” to “HOLY S___, DUCK!” Around here it’s mostly the former, and those who know what they’re doing and practice the Four Rules keep it that way, either by example and/or instruction or, on the rare occasions it’s a problem, by asking repeat offenders to leave.

        2. NOOOOOOOO! You’re supposed to be a bigot! You’re ruining everything!”

          (stamps feet)

  13. Ha ha, yes! We are a weedy folk, impossible to eradicate.

    They will try to cheat, but they can’t cheat the same way again. If they try to close down the counting and remove the witnesses, said witnesses will stand their ground, in shifts if necessary. Trump was winning so big on election night that they had to cheat in the open. We’re on to them now. Molon Labe.

    1. Yes, if they try that ‘throwing out the Republican witnesses and blocking the windows while pulling boxes and boxes of Xeroxed ballots out from under the tables’ stratagem again … things are liable to get interesting.
      For certain values of ‘interesting.’

      1. If anyone if FORCED out of the ballot counting area whilst others remain behind, there is NO CRIME to remove ALL electrical service (and gas and water) from that place. It no longer is worth even a damn.

            1. …and sometimes the company files for Chapter 11 and he can’t keep it… 😉

      1. My class’s graduation song was, no kidding, Rockaway Beach by The Ramones. We had a vote. Thunder Road by Springsteen came second.

        1. Heh. My mother’s class voted for “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” by The Animals. Unfortunately, the school authorities vetoed it; apparently the fuckers couldn’t take a joke.

        2. Mine was ‘Stairway To Heaven’.

          A few years later, in 1984, about half the high schools in America were playing ‘Sister Christian’ by Night Ranger.

      1. Some people in Hollywood turned Santa Claus into a murderer, too. That doesn’t mak evil right.

        I prefer to think of Karen Carpenter before the signs of anorexia showed so badly. I was terribly sad when she passed. We should make certain none of our friends, family, or coworkers fall into that type of mental bondage.

  14. I know it was only a small part of today’s article, but the “growth is pain” line hits particularly hard for me right now.

    I’m moving to a college multiple states away this fall. Sure, I have extended family within a couple hours’ drive, and sure, it’s a highly conservative/religious college, so it’s going to be a lot easier than it could be… but. The longest I’ve ever been away from both home and my family was a week long summer camp once. This is going to be months on end. Leading into years.

    I’m scared. I’m actually tearing up at the keyboard, I’m so scared. Thank You, Lord, that I have a good family whom I love dearly and hate to leave, but…I’m still scared.

    (I don’t often think of myself as shy, but I’m new to commenting, and there’s a voice in the back of my mind saying ‘Look, they really don’t care. You’re oversharing. It doesn’t matter. Just be quiet.’ And now that I type that out, it sounds really stupid. Still…sorry about dragging all of this into commentary on an article that was mostly about other things. God bless you all.)

    1. Congratulations on going outside your comfort zone. Yes it’s scary as hell, but I think we all need to… re-pot ourselves every once in a while, or we do get root-bound.

      We are also blessed in this day to have the relatively instant ability to see our loved ones, at least on a small screen. But don’t let it prevent you from finding new family of the heart.

      …and if you find yourself in central Florida and need someone to kvetch at, I’m more than happy to meet any of ya’ll for lunch or a trip to the range.

    2. You aren’t stupid, you’re brave. It takes nerve to be honest this way. Part of your growing will be to learn when it isn’t a good idea to share, but you learn that through instinct and experience. It will be OK.

    3. When I first started commenting here, I was the same way. Lurked and read for years before I ventured any statement of my own. I still mostly lurk and read at most of the blogs I visit. But here I’ve become a regular, and have met many of the folks off-blog, including, finally, our illustrious hostess. Nearly three years after she introduced me, via FB Messenger, to my now-husband. She told me on this very blog to message her on FB and I still hesitated. Self-effacing introversion is a thing within this community, so you are in good company. And who knows, you might be closer to one or more of the Huns than you know.

    4. Welcome! I haven’t been participating on this blog very long (a very long time posting in Usenet, though), and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the politeness and maturity I’ve seen here after Usenet (yeah, I got smacked, deservedly, a couple of times, but almost everyone does; no biggie). You should do well, and this is a good group for moral support when you need it. And don’t worry so much about leaving home; I did the same when I went in the Corps, and it was the best thing that happened to me until I got married, which then took the place of “best”. You grow.

    5. > “there’s a voice in the back of my mind saying ‘Look, they really don’t care. You’re oversharing. It doesn’t matter. Just be quiet.’”

      Eh, relax. You’re not the first to talk about their feelings here. You’ll get sympathy from some and the ones who don’t care will generally just ignore it rather than give you grief. We understand that conversation at someone else’s blog isn’t going to revolve around one’s own personal interests 100% of the time.

  15. When I was a boy in the 1950s, all we did was live, with scarcely a hint of government interference..And we had great community, all pulling together….Despite our relative poverty, I would go back in a minute..

    1. in the 1950s

      with scarcely a hint of government interference

      Seems that like people who can remember the 60s; you weren’t actually there.

      1. Even after the draft opinion overruling Roe v. Wade was leaked, I didn’t really believe it would actually come to pass. To that extent, I am considerably heartened. My greatest concern now is the same as it was when the George Floyd riots erupted. I expect those who want more political power, in their failure to achieve tyranny by “fair” means of vote or judicial activism, will turn to “foul” means and attempt mob rule. I don’t believe that will work, either, although it’s looking more likely all the time that it will be tried.

        1. The Reader is positive that Roberts did the leak to attempt to flip Kavanaugh to his ‘the Mississippi law is Constitutional but Roe still stands’ position. The three socialists would have signed on in a heartbeat to keep Roe in place. They could always re-expand it in the future. There is a bit more spine in Kavanaugh than the Reader believed.

        2. So far, so good. A fipriend of my beloved was complaining there were no conveniently located riots- uh, protests – she could reach this weekend. That’s a good sign.

          1. Is “fipriend” an actual word? The “ip” seems a bit out of the way on the keyboard for a misspelling of “friend” but Qwant’s timing out trying to find anything.

      2. Grr. the other reply is posted in the wrong place. However, in response to Ian, I was there in the 60s’ and do indeed remember them. Granted, I was a young shaver back then, old enough and smart enough to watch and read the news, too young to be drunk or high. I didn’t understand everything that was going on, but believe it or not, there was a time before the EPA, OSHA, EEOC, the Federal Department of Education and the TSA. Yah, and even before ubiquitous zoning boards and HOAs.

          1. I can’t speak to that particular issue. You might ask Larry Correia or one of his many associates who have forgotten more than I will ever know about firearms and the cloud of regulatory issues surrounding them. Although I respect, approve, and support the 2nd amendment, I’m afraid that there are people with a little but of tunnel vision who seem to think it is the be-all and end-all of American liberty.

            1. I use it because it is a topic where many are familiar with the history. It is also an excellent bellwether for everything else.

              How about a free clue in a different field: the 70s consisted — among other things — of the complete implosion of the U.S. rail network due to over regulation. This was not a process that took less than a decade to go from regulation to results, as it would have to be if the 50s were the childish golden age the historically ignorant think they were.

              1. On that matter, overregulation may have been an important factor, but it seems that the growth of the interstate highway system and airlines had a lot to do with the collapse of the US passenger railroad industry,

                1. Truckers were also heavily regulated in the early years and were not able to handle interstate traffic in anything but the least efficient way possible.

                  Perhaps you should consider that repeatedly stating how much you don’t know on a topic across multiple topics while still claiming that none of that could contradict the fantasy-50s position, doesn’t actually make you look like the knowledgeable person in the discussion.

                  1. fantasy-50s position

                    To be blunt, I don’t think anybody here thinks that the 1950s were a Golden Age for the US.

                    What many of us would say is that the 1950s were not That Time Of Great Evil that the Left screams about.

                    For example, there are (or were) Lefty Nut-Cases that claim that America in the 1950s was a Theocracy.

                    While I was six years old in 1960, I don’t remember people celebrating the End Of The Evil Theocracy.

                    Note, the Left and other idiots have an Extremely “Interesting” definition of Theocracy.

                    1. We have two different people in this thread trying to claim that there wasn’t any government interference at the time.

                      The only way in which they are better than the theocracy-screamers is that one of them has roundabout admitted that they don’t know jack about anything while still claiming they are right.

                    2. I think it’s fair to say that, in the 1950’s, most kids were not directly smashed in the face with federal government regulations. If anything, federal regulations were less important to kids than state or local regulations, which governed all kid activities of importance/visibility.

                      However, this doesn’t mean that a lot of federal overreach was not taking place in the adult world, or in the background of agencies doing their DC thing.

                  2. In spite of my occasional claims to be a generalist who knows a little bit about a great many things and studies incessantly to learn more, I find that the surface area of my sphere of ignorance increases much faster than the radius of my knowledge.. Only the tiniest peep of what I do know will ever appear in any comment I make here.
                    As far as I know, the US freight rail system has not entirely collapsed. Not in my neighborhood, anyway, judging from the horn sounds in the middle of the night (which are so routine I barely hear them at all) or the switching operations that all too frequently occur at irritatingly inconvenient times. The passenger rail system is a different matter. The speed of airlines and the convenience of automobiles and freeways make passenger train traffic comparatively far less attractive that it was up until the 1950s, for the same compelling economic reasons that public rail or bus systems are very unlikely to ever displace automobiles, the nostalgia of older generations or fond hopes and dreams of “green” transportation advocates notwithstanding.
                    Incidentally, if perchance you should leave off insulting those who disagree with you, I won’t miss it. I’ve let it pass often enough.

                    1. As far as I know, the US freight rail system has not entirely collapsed.

                      I said it was collapsing in the 70s.

                      Starting with deregulation in 1980 via the Stagger’s Act the railroads have rebuilt themselves from near-disaster.

                      Various regulations have been increasing for a long time, but really got going during the Progressive Era. Just like everything else that got massively worse during that time. The apparent “freedom” of the 50s was due to a combination of childhood ignorance of how the world worked, plus productivity finally outpacing the chains the country had been saddled with.

                      if perchance you should leave off insulting those who disagree with you, I won’t miss it. I’ve let it pass often enough.

                      There is “disagree”, and there is the conservative tradition of acting like one Knows History while being utterly ignorant of it.

                    2. I never said that there was no government regulation in the 1950s. What I did do is give five or six examples of notoriously stifling agencies, not all of them federal, that I remember as have been created or at least risen to greater prominence since then. You may be offended by the Historically Ignorant Conservative, but those who lived through, or at least closer to the times in question may not be quite as ignorant as you seem to suppose. It strikes me as condescending and insulting to claim they are.

                    3. It be summer now. Which translates to our bedroom window being open. We will hear the train, multiple times, at night. We are maybe a mile to the switching yard to the southwest of us. Heck, half the time the freight train that blocks our main route, blocks the next intersection down, which is a mile away. Same freight train as it goes through town can block traffic from Monroe to Polk. Well actually from Chambers, but Chambers bridges over the tracks. There is also a lot of debate on whether the trains should be allowed to use the horn through town because the RR crossings are so close together between 4th and 5th, that it is just one blast after another. We also get Amtrack Passenger N/S run. Can always tell if it is a freight train or Amtrack causing the crossing guard arms to come down. Latter the guards come down well before you can see Amtrack coming.

                      We used to watch the Canadian freight trains when we’d approach Banff from west Hwy 1, at Kicking Horse Pass. Interesting history. Have a video of our then 4 year old telling new tourists at the platform “how it all worked” (and yes everyone thought he was as cute doing it as we did). But that was back in the day when the platform extended all the way out to the edge of the tracks, and the trees didn’t block the view of the lower tunnel. Now the model is still there, as are all the boards with the history, but really cannot actually see the train overlap itself as it comes out of the lower tunnel on the upper side.


                2. Tax. The railways were destroyed by local taxes. Passenger was doomed outside the NE corridor but freight would have been fine. US Railway freight is the best in the world by some margin

                  1. It went way beyond taxes. It was illegal for railroads to drop unprofitable service, raise rates to make it profitable, or even abandon lines that had zero traffic on them.

                    1. The first and third of those sound like 13th amendment issues. Were they ever challenged?

            2. The be all and end all? No. The “yes, we really freaking mean it, so don’t mess around”, oh hell yeah.

              Also a bulwark against government atrocities. To steal shamelessly from the Pink Pistols’ slogan, armed Yids don’t get gassed.

        1. While the conservatives idealize the fifties, the leftists demonize them. While I wasn’t there, my parents were, so I at least lived in the next neighborhood over. I would say that they are both partly correct, from a certain point of view, in the same way that a caricature is partly correct. Both the conservatives and the leftists exaggerate the points they want to and gloss over the ones they don’t like, because they are paying attention to different things.

        2. A matter of popular optimism, I suspect. The 1950’s were a Very Optimistic Time (consider the music….) and after the Great Depression, then World War Two… and then you get the 1950’s where, in the USA, it was generally peace (not perfect, no, but Korea was a ‘small thing’ and ‘over there’ and STAYED ‘over there’…) with…

          Antibiotics kicking Diseases’ butt over and over and over… after AGES of Disease winning*.
          Vaccinations (REAL vaccines!) and Polio (which antibiotics couldn’t even touch) FELL.
          Atomic Power – the hope of “power too cheap to meter.” A silly dream, but it was there.
          WORKING rockets. Space travel was no longer Utter Fiction. It was, if not yet fact, at least Not Utterly Impossible Anymore.
          RADAR. See in the dark and gloom! See …weather! Before it hits you.

          Perfect in every way? Oh, HELL NO! But after 1929-1945… well, can ya blame some for popping the cork on the bubbly?

          Those old movies & such where the temperature chart is at the foot of the bed? That wasn’t a Hollywood invention. That was specifically so the patient could not see it. Why? Because pre-antibiotics pneumonia was a well-known killer. That’s why granny went on and on about it. To her, it still was. If the chart went one way, the patient would live. If it went another, the patient would die. And the doctors could NOT DO A DAMN THING TO MOVE THAT BLASTED LINE. No, sulfa wasn’t enough (and, yes, sulfa was the Second Miracle drug… the first was… Insulin**.) And then, in the Summer of 1946 (in the USA) Everything Changed. Penicillin became available for civilian use. In a matter of weeks, entire WARDS (pneumonia wards) closed. No longer need for that. Doc could, at long last, flip the chart from ‘DIE’ to ‘LIVE’! Those who want me to go back to the 19th century can kiss me under my tail. I’ll even take a laxative for them.

          ** The test was done with diabetic patients in coma. They were dying. It was That Simple. If the drug failed… well, nothing changed. If it worked… WOW! They hadn’t finished administering the experimental thing to those in that ward… when the first started waking up.. from the coma that preceded death, ALWAYS.

      3. I mean I didn’t think life under national socialism was oppressive. I was ELEVEN when it fell. life was just as it was. Even if you could be arrested for swearing in public…..

      4. To be fair, he did say he was a boy, and thus probably unobservant. Especially in contrast to childhood nowadays, where you can’t send your kid to the park on a bike without ten different people wondering if they need to call CPS on you or the police on the kid.

      1. Yes, that. Very much, plus a little more; it’s not only from a viewpoint of youth that the ’50s (or ’60s) likely seemed to have less meddling and ‘interference’ from government.

        Remember (trivial as it sounds) the ’50s followed the ’40s which followed the ’30s — and by the standards of those two decades as a baseline, the ’50s very likely were relatively free of government ‘input’ into daily life. Now also remember that adults, having their recent experience as that baseline, would see such interference not only ‘fading into the woodwork’ as something familiar, but (correctly) as lessening. But, I have zero direct experience then.

        As far as I can remember from the 1960s, and it’s not all that much, it really was mostly just taken for granted, such pervasive regulation and fiddly economic ‘fine tuning’ and all the rest. And since much of my young life featured my parents’ adult friends, often (also) of the WW II / Great Depression generation, I didn’t hardly grow up in a bubble of ‘kid stuff.’

        One specific example: I can (barely) remember when Nixon’s “Phase I” put on widespread wage and price controls. Even at the time, I thought this was pretty squirrelly, and was soon proved right when the vestigial remnants of that executive genius led directly to early-70s gas lines. But… just another action by the People In Charge Of Us, to most, as far as I could tell.

        Now, imagine today’s Bidey-Bot imposing wage and price controls to ‘fight inflation’ — likely far worse than just controversial, maybe with about half the country busily figuring out how to evade them from before Day Zero. (Almost inconceivable, that last, in the ’60s I half-remember, or the “Sixties” that were really 1970s.)

        Only one index, of how far we’ve come. Today’s crazy… is not and will not ever be taken for granted.

      2. There was, BUT… I graduated from HS in Florida in ’63, and I do remember quite a bit from the late ’50s. The interference didn’t generally directly affect children; getting minor injuries while bike riding or using playground equipment was “just part of growing up”, not cause for CPS to pick up the kids and get the parents arrested. I can remember two specific instances when current levels of interference were nonexistent, at least where I was and in MD and on airlines. Taking a .22 rifle to school to show either the teacher or your schoolmates wasn’t even commented about. And an acquaintance took a .22 revolver to 9th grade to show; also a “meh”. And when I took a Super Connie (“WOO-HOO, I’m flying!”) by myself from FL to MD in ’57 or ’58 to stay with my grandparents for the summer, I *carried a 20-ga shotgun on the plane with me. The only thing that happened was that the stewardess (yeah, not “flight attendant”; PC hadn’t yet raised its deformed head) asked if I’d like her to put it in the front storage area. I politely declined, and that was the end of it. So yeah, for kids, at least where I lived, there was a lot less interference from the government.

        1. Regarding kids at the playground without adult supervision. Heck, hubby tells tales of being told “Go. Go out and play. Be home by dinner!” Supervision? HaHaHaHaHa.

          I can see where those born in ’30s, and remember WWII, think ’50s were less controlled by government, and less centralized. After all they were born into the depression and were pre-teens through the war and governmental rationing of goods and services. Even “now” is considered less controlled. Seriously, talk to my 87 year old mother.

          1. Your hubby’s stories are pretty much the normal way it worked while I was growing up. When I spent the summers at my grandparents’ place on South River (in MD) I came home for lunch and dinner; aside from that, except when my grandfather wanted to go out in the boat fishing with me, it was pretty much “have fun”, with “don’t get killed” implied. Spent a lot of time roaming the woods and the river, from about age 8 to 13, both alone and with a buddy. And y’know, I never did get killed… 😉

            1. In hubby’s case there was a whole neighborhood, or two, of children. They hung out at the school playground and sports fields, as well as running in and out of each other’s yards.

              In our case there were 8 of us who, by age groups, wandered in and out of each others house and yards. Rode bikes through immediate neighborhood. But the grade school, 1/2 mile away, was off limits without permission and adult supervision. Now when at Aunt’s, had 40 acres to roam unaccompanied. At great-uncles had 80 acres. But stayed on the properties when there.

              The problem we ran into with our son, was, although we are, all but, across the street from the grade school, he was the only child his age living on the streets in the blocks around the school. His classmates, and fellow cub scouts, just weren’t that close to the school. FYI. After 33 years in the neighborhood, this situation is Just Now, in the last few years, started slowly changing as the long term residents have moved on (dying mostly, otherwise moved in to assisted living). Our newest neighbors, across the street, expressed they were thrilled to have the school so close. They have 5 boys close in ages (his/hers) that the boys, and friends, could play basketball, throw balls, etc., in the fields behind the school … they play in the street in front of the house, they do not go to the school grounds.

              My old neighborhood is the same. To be fair, my old home (mom still lives there), is no longer “only” a 1/2 mile from the grade school. That old grade school is now torn down. Current closest grade school is actually closer to us, for all that it is in a different district (long story). Not to mention, while that district does allow outside of school access to the grounds, they do not make it easy. Entire school grounds are fenced, with limited gate access. At least the grade school near us, in our district, it is the buildings that have the fences through “school safety initiative”, not the entire property (there are fences around playgrounds, but only because private property fences, and most of them have gate access).

  16. I know it’s only a small part of today’s article, but the phrase ‘growth is pain’ really stands out to me right now.

    I’m moving to college this fall. It’s a very conservative/Christian college (one of two that I’m aware of), and it’s a couple of hours drive away from extended family, so it’s not as far a jump into the deep end as it could be. But it’s multiple states away from home.

    The longest I’ve been away from both my home and, more significantly, my immediate family was a week-long summer camp. This is going to be months. And then it’s going to be years, and kind-of forever (except for visits, of course). And thank You, Lord, that I have such a good family that leaving home is so painful, but…

    I’m scared. Scared enough that I legitimately teared up while writing this. I’m kind of trying not to think about it, most of the time. Focus on other things, or the good things about said college. But the fear’s still there when I look.

    (P.S. I don’t generally think of myself as shy, but I’m really new at commenting on anything, and there’s this little voice in my head saying ‘Look, you’re oversharing. These are perfect strangers. They don’t care. And this really isn’t what the article was about. Just be quiet.’ It sounds a little stupid when I type it out, but… sorry anyway. If being sorry is called for. God bless you all.)

    1. (P.S. I don’t generally think of myself as shy, but I’m really new at commenting on anything, and there’s this little voice in my head saying ‘Look, you’re oversharing. These are perfect strangers. They don’t care. And this really isn’t what the article was about. Just be quiet.’ It sounds a little stupid when I type it out, but… sorry anyway. If being sorry is called for. God bless you all.)

      I haven’t been banned yet; you’re fine.

      1. Laughs quietly. #Metoo!

        I just tried a shade cloth for the kennel, and it terrified Kat the dog (don’t ask about the name). In some ways, young RCPete was a lot like that year-old border collie. Shy and really not good at uprooting and finding/making friends. (I stuttered when things got really bad. That hasn’t happened in a long time, but the speech center in my brain will go on hiatus for a while…) I’ll say it gets easier, but the timeframe for the improvement varies. I can pass as extroverted for a short while, and I’m not 70 yet.

          1. LOL. He’s PROBABLY okay. For values of okay, at least. I like RCPete, and he’s a long regular. The comment was put in the wrong place by wordpress, which to be fair does that a lot.

            1. No, that was me. I switched thoughts in mid-post.

              Re Kat the dog. We had a tendency to name our dogs after TV mystery characters. Sara the lab-aussie was named after Sara Seidel from CSI. Angie the border collie was from Angela Pearlygates Montenegro (also the daughter of Billy Gibson of ZZ Top). Kat was originally Catherine, shortened to Kathy. $SPOUSE pointed out that monosylabic names for BCs was a good idea (Angie became “Ange”), and we voted on Cath vs Kat. I voted for Cath but was outvoted by $SPOUSE. Go figure.

              Further postal drift: I’m most of the way through Book 4 of Black Tide, and just picked up the anthology books. Love them!

              1. You’ll love the ending of book 4. Suffice to say that Ringo doesn’t disappoint. And the shared-universe follow-ons and anthologies are mostly good, too. (Now if he’d just get to work on the next Prince [Emperor?] Roger…)

                1. I binge-read through the first three books and am pretty close to finishing Book 4. Haven’t bought 5-8 yet; really need to go through the TBR stack; my Kindle home page is getting full. (That’s my stack; once read, it goes into the archive. One of these days, I need to sync the Kindle4PC–painful, since there hasn’t been a native Linux version. Still, I’m happier when the department of redundancy department completes its tasks.)

                  “Blessed are the pessimists, for they have made backups” — Every IT support person around.

                  1. I have a Kobo (and before that a Sony, both hand-me-downs from my wife), so I’ve always used Calibre and converted from azw/azw3 to epub (if required) using the available DRM stripper (again, if required). So everything I have is in the Calibre library, where I transfer to the reader as required.

      2. I just want to say, to you and everyone else who replied: Thank you so much! I spent a good five minutes kind-of freaking out with joy that people on According To Hoyt responded to my comment. (It was a long quarantine, and I’m not getting out much, sadly. Even introverts get a little starved for interaction.)

          1. That we do, though I prefer leaving the troll munching to you, Fox, BobtRF, and others more skilled in that art.

          1. Hmm… You’re right. It’s not the kind that immediately grabs my attention, but on a closer look it is quite pretty.

          2. Thanks! I’ve got folders filled with similar, it’s amazing the kinds of things you can find if you go to Bing Images (or similar search engine) and type in ‘Dungeons and Dragons character art’, or something similar. (One of the things I tend to do whenever bored/looking for inspiration/desperate to see something beautiful is look up ‘fantasy fire temple art’. I’m never disappointed.)

            1. If you’re really bored, type in ‘redneck invention’. Prepare to be amused, amazed and terrified. Your world will never be the same again.

              One of my favorites is the Redneck Chandelier — two drop lights duct taped to a coat hanger. 😀

        1. Heck, I’m not a pre-freshman heading off to college away, from home for the first time. I am well past that age (I’ve had my married name twice as long as I had my maiden name, as of Dec. 2022!) … I still get a kick out of people responding to MY comments. Because proof someone read them and actually paid attention!!!!

          Welcome. You’ve got this.

          1. > “Because proof someone read them and actually paid attention!!!!”

            Sorry, what? I wasn’t listening. 😛

    2. I kinda remember those times I felt that way; not at first going to college, but realizing my education was pointing me in a way (or toward a part of the country) I didn’t want to go—it wasn’t really or it didn’t work out that way. And I remember wondering and mourning what the neighborhood was going to look like when all my cousins built their houses there, would there be anything left. There is. Most people would probably still call it rural thought the population is up and we have fiber internet—had to pony up for it before they would build it, but we have it; came in handy the last two years.

      Moving away from home is hard, but if you have to, you can.

      Work hard and do your folks proud.

      1. The other aspect is when you’ve moved/reside in an area and you notice it changing. I moved from the Midwest to California in the mid 1970s, and left in 2003. It’s now to the point where we’ll go to great lengths to avoid setting foot or wheels in Cali.

        When “home” moves away from you, that’s a problem.

        1. California. It is — or can be — a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

          Sadly, I DO live there. [Moved for work, before full-time remote was a thing. Now that full-time remote has become a thing, moving OUT of California will be a thing for my family as soon as we can reasonably arrange it.]

    3. Fear’s normal. And you won’t be the only scared one. I decided to fly my freak flag at college and showed up with a stuffed dragon perched on my shoulder. It broke the ice, and attracted people who were into fantasy and sci-fi and Celtic stuff. Three years later, a new freshman wandered in wearing iridescent butterfly wings “because they made her feel better.” And everyone was pretty cool with it. We all found our niches, more or less. Granted, it was a small, single-sex college, so competition for boyfriends was not an issue (for 90% of us. The lesbians did their thing and it was OK too).

      1. When I came to the US as an exchange student, I wore my stuffed frog (Carlos) on my shoulder. I still do when I’m terrified of going somewhere. A lot of hospital nurses know Carlos.

      2. Okay, you’ve just given me an idea. Several ideas, actually… I really need to look up Liberty University’s concealed-carry rules, and whether or not they apply to a certain length of fixed blade in a dagger-cane.

        And Mrs. Hoyt, ‘Internet-pets-for-Carlos’ are transmitting now. If he doesn’t mind pets, that is.

        1. If you are one of those like me that carry sharp pointy things, may I recommend to you kniferights.org? Sort of the NRA for knife people. They have a really cool app, Legalblade, that by state and locality tells you what is legal to carry , open or concealed. Frequently updated.

        2. May I also recommend something like Murderneedles (located in the FB group of the same name), which are lovely hair sticks with some heft to them. Full disclosure: my husband makes them. Doesn’t have to be those specifically, but something like them might be useful if you’re concerned about weapons regulations.

          1. A homemade version of something that could be described as “murderneedles” featured (rather graphically) in “Unintended Consequences”, in case you haven’t read that book.

        3. If your college’s rules don’t, your new state’s rules might.

          You could also look up whether your state’s concealed weapons permit laws apply to blades and bludgeons as well as firearms, because if your CCW permit allows you to carry those hidden, and having a CCW allows you to carry on campus, that ought to cover you. Or you old state, and look up whether the states have reciprocity.

          Hatpins are also a decent option that nobody expects to be a weapon. You might have to make your own, though.

        4. Oh, also – multitools have knives in them (not fixed-blade, true) and no one looks at you funny for carrying one of those.

        5. I might be misremembering, but I think they have monthly concealed carry classes. Concealed blades might be more subject to state laws.

    4. Homesickness is a normal part of the college adjustment. No need to worry about oversharing. You’ve merely confessed to being human, which is true of all of us here, except perhaps for the very friendly Minotaur, Mr Orvan Taurus, over yonder, and the talking cat from Texas. I’m not sure what the story is there, but “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.”

      The fear is okay, too. People who don’t feel fear in the face of major life changes are either very silly, or very brave. You may find things you thought were set in stone shaking down to the bedrock. That’s okay, too, and not a bad reason to be upset or apprehensive, if that starts happening. I know it did for me, when I was a college freshman.

      If everything else shakes loose, remember this: God loves you. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, will ever change that.

        1. Of course! He is from Texas, after all! I’m not a cat person, but even so, I’ll say a cat from Texas is a cut above the rest.

            1. A thousand pardons, then! A gentlemen is only rude when he means to be. I certainly did not mean to be.

      1. Thank you. Thank you so much. I really, truly appreciate the level of support and love that a group of proud weirdos are willing to extend to another joyfully-let’s-call-it-eccentric stranger on the internet.

      2. All I’ll say is be careful if you beg for snacks on the patio of a chemical or nuclear research facility as a kitten.

      3. > “You’ve merely confessed to being human, which is true of all of us here, except perhaps for the very friendly Minotaur, Mr Orvan Taurus, over yonder, and the talking cat from Texas.”

        And the dragon, and the kitsune, and the sarcastic talking wallaby who still occasionally drops in…

    5. Congratulations ladyeleanorceltic on heading off to college. Also thank you for commenting. The locals are decent folks except for the occasional troll that sneaks in 🙂 . As for college get involved in some of the local activities especially if they are something you liked in high school. Like minded folks will give you a chance to make new friends. On the other hand maybe even try something totally new. Long ago I tried Fencing, To be honest I was a chubby asthmatic and this was maybe not the wisest choice, but watching far too many swashbuckling movies as a kid (and being a D&D addict), I found I enjoyed it and found a set of gentlemen who were friends through college and many years after who I might not have met without it. And call home when you get a little homesick, Good thing about the modern world is you won’t have to wait for the guy (or gal in your case as a Christian college is unlikely to have dorms mixed other than perhaps by floor) talking to his girlfriend on the pay phone :-), you can use your phone and maybe even have video.

      1. Ah! Another devotee of D&D! (And I’m so thrilled by everyone’s comments, I’m rhyming now. This is fine.) Thanks for the advice. Modern technology definitely makes a lot of things easier. Not always easy, but easier.

    6. You aren’t oversharing at all. I know what it’s like to be so scared it makes you cry to say it out loud or even to type it.

      This place is safe. And fun. And the most welcoming place anywhere around. 🙂 Hello!

      1. Hi! Thank you. I knew most of this already, from reading comment sections for quite a while, but it’s very different actually experiencing it. (And amazing!) The difference between Head knowledge and Heart knowledge, I suppose.

        1. I felt the same way when I started commenting and was a little nervous moving beyond the vignettes section myself. From what I can tell you’ll fit in here just fine!

        2. That’s the cool part about the truth “the only way out is through!”

    7. First, welcome to the madhouse. Unless you hit them first, my commenters are among the most civilized and kindest in the world. At most we’ll hit you with an imaginary carp for bad puns, and that’s considered an honor. Some of the guys collect carps, I SWEAR.
      Second, you’re so completely not alone. This is one of the hardest parts of growing up. I remember spending my first five years away from home in a constant panic. I was afraid I’d forget to pay rent or lights or something. Or that I’d forgotten some essential no one ever told me about.
      Unfortunately there’s no way out but through.
      From the other end, when I realized the kids were now old enough to leave and from then on my time with them was limited, that ALSO hurt.
      You’ll be okay. You’re only human.
      And drop by anytime you want.

      1. For precision, you (we) should specify that we consider attacks on our intelligence to be actual attacks, and grounds for unlimited return fire. :p

        But those only come from trolls or people whose brains have been colonized by demons of various sorts.

        1. Well, there is the occasional incident of friendly fire, which,as most of us know, isn’t especially friendly, and the even more occasional violent agreement…

      2. I’m grinning right now. I love you guys so much already.

        (Note to Self: Find a notecard on which to write Carp Count. I may not manage Dad-worthy, but I think I’ll probably manage to pick up a couple.)

        1. Now here is a very important question: do you Kipple?

          If not, I can guarantee you will start.

          1. I haven’t noticed ladyeleanorceltic responding to older comments. I suspect someone needs to catch her early in a thread and tell her about the subscription feature.

            1. Good call. I have been offline for a few days, doing a brute force read to catch up

      3. I’ll have you know that I do not MAKE bad puns. My puns are the finest and freshest available everywhere. They’re not pining for any fjords, nor even beeches. Maples are right out. The best available wordplay on a stick, right here.

          1. Just because I don’t make them doesn’t mean I won’t pass them along. But my own hand-crafted punnery is top-shelf. So top that I have to get my husband to get it down for me.

      4. I don’t comment often, but read daily. This is a wonderful community and inspires much thought.
        I have not yet earned my first carp, but I do dream of that day!!

      5. > “Some of the guys collect carps, I SWEAR.”

        Look, lady, some of us have cats to feed. Frankly, I’m surprised you don’t hoard more of them for yours.

    8. Heh, I can be a bit of a pain in the neck myself when I’m not sticking to writing, though I do get where you’re coming from. Everyone here helps everyone else through issues, no worries.

    9. Don’t think of it as moving away from home. Think of it as moving toward a new library!

      College is scary, exhilarating, fun, full of friends, and full of peer pressure. But as long as you study and do your best, it also gives you lots of time to fool around and do silly things — and to do serious things, discover your Christian backbone without your family, and be smart enough to consult your family if things start sounding hinky.

      Jesus is always with you, as He promised. Even if you suffer some spiritual dryness at some point and can’t tell He’s there, He’s still really going to be there, watching your back. No foolin’.

      Work on some physical fitness this summer, if you can. Makes you smarter and gives you stamina.

      1. ‘Moving toward a new library’, huh. I never thought of it that way, and that definitely sounds right up my alley! (Although personally, I’d prefer it if said library looked a tad more like the Dublin Trinity College Library… but that’s much farther away than I’m comfortable with.)

        Oh joy. Exercise. Duly noted, and probably a very good point. (Cringes in lazy bookwyrm)

        1. You know, a lot of the European universities have been digitizing their manuscript collections, and even some of their public domain printed books. So in that respect, you can consult all sorts of libraries wherever you are, as well as using all sorts of useful online resources that the university library subscribes to.

          Also, if you’re interested, there’s a lot of “learn palaeography online” help, to familiarize you with weird medieval and Renaissance handwriting. Personally I found it difficult, because I’m not terribly visual, but I also found that as soon as I really wanted to consult a manuscript, the handwriting got easier.

          (Except St. Thomas Aquinas, who is widely regarded as having the worst “engineer handwriting” in the Middle Ages, which is why his order started sending him secretaries to take dictation. I can’t make that stuff out at all.)

        2. I find that exercise got much more appealing when I realized I could put my Kindle on the treadmill. I love me some outside, but I frequently love uninterrupted reading time more. 🙂

    10. Some of Douglass Adams’ advice: DON’T PANIC.

      Be a bit concerned, sure. That’s Perfectly Normal and even healthy.
      And, WELCOME!

      Oh, one more thing, or else others will start wondering: Moo.

    11. First, welcome to the blog!

      Second, fear is normal. What you do after you feel it will determine how you move forward. And it’s okay if you can’t be brave all the time. Just try again the next time.

      Third, there is nothing wrong with feeling shy. Walk in with your head held high, shoulders back and a smile. Mind where you step but take the chance of doing something new. And if you fall on your face, stand up and take a bow. More people will applaud if you respond to a mistake with grace and dignity than if you run away in shame.

      Fourth, your comment about finding a fixed blade for a comfort item makes me want to introduce you to my son who is also starting college this fall. (Don’t worry, our hostess has declared him a nephew, so you know he’s a good egg).

      1. Is she…is she hatching now? Should we be concerned?

        Though what Karies said is correct–when our Beautiful but Evil Space Princess introduced me to my now-husband, whom I had seen around on the Book of Faces but hadn’t really interacted with much, we were able to progress much more quickly through the getting to know (and trust) you because we were both friends with her. Obviously, that usually holds true with any “friend introducing you” but not always. Here it does, absolutely.

      2. Hi! Thank you so much for your comment. I’ll keep the advice in mind. And I’d be honored to meet you and your family – but working that out online while not breaking any of the ‘Internet Rules’ would be something of a hassle. Maybe next Liberty Con? I’ve already said ‘Note to Self – Attend Next Year If At All Possible.’

        (Unfortunately, I checked in with the Police Department of the college I’m attending – blades must be 4 inches or less, and my dagger-cane has a blade about 11 and 1/4 inches long. Ah, well. I guess I’ll just have to bring one of my other canes.)

        1. Just a note… While a dagger-cane (or sword cane) is quite useful if you know how to use it, and generally a surprise to an attacker, a simple cane, preferably one of blackthorn, ironwood or hickory, is also a good (and frequently shocking) defensive weapon, and is allowed everywhere I know of in the US. Again, learn how to use it; I’m sure you can find a dojo that teaches some form of stick-fighting (mostly Oriental of one sort or another, but the Irish technique with a shillelagh is also supposed to be very effective). Whatever yo decide, be careful and keep situational awareness; it’s become a cliche, but the stick, knife or firearm is a tool; you are the weapon.

        1. Yes, and that is the consistent theme in Diane Duane’s fiction. Too bad she’s such a brainwashed numskull politically; her fantasy/sf is actually quite non-statist so I don’t get how she can be a leftist in this world.

          1. I love Diane Duane’s books and therefore stay well away from current pronunciations of the author.

            (Funny story: when Kid was small I let her watch those pressed extruded Barbie movie products. Which are actually quite non-horrible for small brains. I was reading with her on my lap watching a Barbiething when I heard some scrap of dialogue and stopped, because THAT WAS DIANE DUANE AND I TOTALLY KNEW IT. Checked the credits after, and there she was. 🙂

            1. Re: books vs. author’s politics… I feel the same about Eric Flint. I can’t tell his political orientation from any of the books of his I’ve read, but I have it on excellent authority (here, AAMOF… 😉 ) that he’s a flaming communist. The closest to that I ever noticed in his work was his obvious dedication to labor unions. And even that, in “1632”, was regarding the UMWA, one of the few unions I think there’s an actual need for today, mostly because of working conditions and danger.

              1. Heck hubby despised unions, but was a member. Difference? Single employer union. Stood between management (which was a board of people assigned by their employers). Not quite as dangerous as mining.

                Outdoors, all weather. Often worked 12 hours/day, no lunch, no breaks, officially. One strike (after which guess who whittled away their effectiveness, but didn’t lose big benefits) got them salary not exempt (i.e. OT after 8 hours/day, double time holidays, evening extra pay), and paid even if not assigned a location for the day. Company tried for unpaid lunch hour, and required unpaid breaks. Union said fine. Shutdown 12 – 1 PM, and 15 minutes on the hour. The log truck drivers response was epic, especially those paid by the trip or net board foot. It was not implemented. Also, not a single union officer was paid by the union, except for when on union business and job was leave without pay. All worked the job, while in union office. Union membership was not happy when forced, because of single employer pension requirements, to associate with a larger national union. FYI. Lunches and breaks were taken when no log trucks at ramp, or if log yard, no loads down that needed to be measured and graded.

                In our estimate, unions have lost their standing. Their own fault. Not good for industries that really need that layer, but again, their fault.

    1. I am appalled at the number of Americans who do not know how to wield a chainsaw. They probably can’t drive a stick, either. 🙂

          1. My dad gave up trying to teach me stick. I learned to drive stick by commuting in New Jersey in my new Corsica with stick. (The dealer didn’t have any with automatic transmission).
            Drove that puppy for 10 years.

            1. My wife learned on a ’67 Pontiac Le Mans Sprint 6 with a 3200-lb clutch (basically, a switch; not much engagement distance). In one afternoon two days before I deployed to RVN. She did fine, after a while. We even got to practice some new vocabulary together! 🙂

        1. Can drive stick, not acquainted with chainsaws. I can milk cows and turn metal, though.

      1. I am appalled at the number of Americans who do not know how to wield a chainsaw.

        I plead the 5th.

        They probably can’t drive a stick, either.

        The first time I started learning to drive was on a stick, so I have the basic idea. But minimal experience.

        1. I know the principle of welding a chain saw. Not sure anyone would want me to.

          We had stick shifts for years. Went back it in 2003, when we got the 2004 Elantra for hubby’s commute VS using pickup or the dodge Durango (2000 version). (The gas savings alone made the payment.) We knew that we’d be teaching the kid to drive it. When he finally replaced the Elantra he had a heck of a time finding a stick shift!!! Still available, but a rare and not inexpensive option anymore.

          1. I learned on a three speed on the column and then on an old Land Rover on a big road in Tipperary. It’s great when I go to Europe and the rental car people all come out to smirk at the yank driving manual. The wife on the other hands refuses to learn.

              1. That is way more information than I want about Dan. And I wouldn’t think your oldest would have that kind of relationship with a cousin. Sharing a fishing car seems a little more like a third date kind of activity.

                (Miss me?)
                (You know you still love me 🙂 )

                  1. What, doesn’t everyone comment on blogs at 3am? Are you, my much-esteemed time-displaced twin, not psychic? I am disappointed. Deceived! How will I ever go on?
                    falls over dramatically with hand on forehead

            1. 4 on the…transmission housing. My first driving experience was an Allis-Chalmers tractor. Then another one. Ever heard of a hand clutch? Or a dual-range hand clutch, high and low speed? Like that.

        2. The first step toward mastery is… pleading the 5th. 🙂
          If you ever have to use one, you’ll figure it out just fine. Same with the stick.

          1. The two biggest issues with a chainsaw are “don’t let it touch the dirt, even for a millisecond” (unless you like dull chains) and “watch out for kickback” (unless you wish a grooved forehead). Dangerous as hell in the wrong hands, but very useful; I used one for years to cut trees for firewood, and topped a 60-ft pine in the back yard about 40 feet up, using a climbing tree stand to get there.

            1. Yep. Once I got the feel of it, easy peasy. Like an axe I found a way to use its weight to do most of the work.
              I sawed into a few knots but never dropped it (fortunately).

          1. I have problems with “the stick” when it was on the steering column but had no problem with the “stick on the floor”.

            Mind you, it has been years since I’ve driven any auto with the “stick”.

          2. In my first marriage, spouse tried to teach me stick. First outing – I could get it from stop to go, but go faster eluded me. Second outing – managed go faster, but stop was getting iffy. Turned out the brakes were failing and we had to get a tow. Third outing – I drove the car around our residential block all by myself! Came inside quite proud of my accomplishment, and spouse was horrified. Seems he had forgotten to pay the car insurance.

            My parents didn’t raise no dummies, and I can take a hint. I’ve never attempted to drive stick again. 😉

                1. Yep. And not small even for a non-leprechaun. Of course, the ones I noted weigh over 3X as much, so maybe a wee bit too heavy… 😉

      2. Chainsaw and boomstick?

        Might solve the “army of darkness” overrunning Portland….

        We are in some weird sequel, yes?

        1. No kidding, weird.
          I think that’s why creative people, the Odds, are going to have a big part to play in the New America.
          Might just be hubris talking, but Chainsaws and Boomsticks is pretty sweet.

          1. Given what comes out of Mausers and Muffins (both the food and the books), Chainsaws and Boomsticks could be wonderful!

        1. Graciously said. And of course. Most of the worlds knowledge isn’t in my head. I will teach what I can and beg instruction for the rest.

        2. And I mean it’s handicap-level inability to coordinate the top and bottom of my body. I CAN walk and chew gum, but my feet don’t know I’m chewing.

          1. Metal-Inert-Gas (wirefeed) and Tungsten-Inert-Gas welders. Stick is slang for Ye Olde Reliable Arc Welder which is nothing but a VERY HIGH CURRENT step-down transformer; you zap the workpiece with a metal rod coated in flux (the ‘stick’).

            I heard somebody define welding as ‘a controlled short circuit’. Most apropos.

            Just don’t get the stick stuck — that results in an uncontrolled short circuit and no welding until you break it loose.

          2. Welding terms, I think. Not that I could tell the difference
            What, would any of us suddenly shift the conversation in a different direction at the slightest excuse?

          3. Welding. MIG: Metal inert Gas (heliarc would be an example?) TIG is, I think, specifically Tungsten. But others have actual experience and genuine knowledge. so I could well be quite wrong.

      3. I’m sufficiently terrifying with a chainsaw that my wife and daughters call tree service for any major tree issues. As for manual I can drive it fairly well. Had a 1989 5.0 Mustang with a 5 speed manual. That was an INCREDIBLY evil clutch. Very heavy and the transition from clutch in to clutch out had to be a matter of a couple millimeters of travel. It was hard enough to drive that it would drive my wife (also a skilled manual user) to tears. Only reason it didn’t do that to me is I drove it constantly. Last manual got traded in in 2017, my knees and hips just don’t tolerate it well any more.

          1. That sounds very like the Mustang (Who was known as Thag the Unsubtle for its Neanderthal clutch). Both feet to depress the clutch sounds a bit hairy to drive.

      4. I pretty much learned on a manual transmission. Now, I will NOT claim any proficiency with a chainsaw, having never used one. If I did need to, I am sure I could learn, but I would also be very, very slow and careful – for what seem to me to be obvious reasons. Why yes, I would actually Read The F(ine) Manual.

        1. I just got lucky to grow up in a family that rode motorcycles and drove sticks.
          And I can wield a chainsaw, at need. I lived in S Carolina for college and the only heat in that shack was an old rusted out Ben Franklin. Summer meant daily work with the ‘saw.

        2. Scariest thing I encountered in my National Guard service was the truck which came to our field bivouac site while I was on gate guard duty during ‘summer camp’ bringing two medics and a young Engineer who had experienced a chainsaw accident to our field hospital. They managed to save his leg . . .

        3. Sounds like the ’58 Plymouth Power Wagon hubby had in college. We parked as soon as we could get a used replacement to drive (in ’79). I could drive it, but the seat wouldn’t pull up, or raise up. Had to put a pillow behind me, so I could reach the petals. I could see over the dash board, barely. I did not like driving that thing. Didn’t help it was huge; nicknamed the Blue Whale for a reason. (Also the vehicle one of the neighbors complained to TPTB because we never registered it in Washington. PTB sent a letter saying they’d confiscate it. I called and asked when were they coming to pick it up. No way was anyone driving it anywhere. Lousy PTB didn’t come get it. Sat there for another two years. Then we sold it instead of paying to move it when hubby was transferred.)

          1. Mhy wife and I parked as soon as we could while we were in HS, too. Oh, wait… 😉

        4. Chainsaw…check.

          Welding…check (well, stick anyway).

          Manual transmission…check.

          I learned on our tractors when I was 10. Then I graduated to the ’71 Chevy dump truck, with a five-speed and transaxle (hi and lo) – basically 10 speeds. Then came three-on-the-tree, which was much easier! Eventually automatic, which was luxurious.

          My daddy had to quit driving his beloved three-on-the-tree ’71 Chevy pickup when, due to shoulder issues (and short arms to start with), he could no longer get it up into second gear 😦 I’m restoring my great-grandfather’s ’61 Apache, which is also three on the column.

          My wife loves manual.

            1. Baby blue, base model (didn’t even have a radio in it!). 225 straight six. I could drop a 235 in without changing anything, but the 225 still runs (it’s just tired). My wife said we should paint orange flames on it. I’m like, not without a 350 small block at least! 🙂

              1. More breakage of the 10th commandment…. A 225 straight six would justify some small flames I think!

      5. I haven’t driven a stick for years but my first automatic car wasn’t until 1990; before that I had Toyota and Nissan manual transmission cars.

        1. I’m driving the only automatic I’ve ever owned. Not sure I want to go back. Got it in 2004.

      6. I rode from Atlanta to Minneapolis with my mother, who could drive a stick, and my aunt, who couldn’t. The approximations they came up with when Mom was too tired to drive were fascinating.

        1. Driving a stick on the flat is possible, if rough.
          Driving a stick in mountain country? You got to know what you’re about.

          1. Yeah. My aunt got lots of time in the plains. She had a bad knee and couldn’t shift more than a couple times per hour. So we’d swap drivers in the emergency lane or atop an on-ramp. Mom would tell her when to hit the clutch as SHE changed gears from the passenger seat, and as soon as we were at highway speeds Mom would pull out the pillow and sleep.

            …Mom got the bit of the Ozarks that we traveled through, though.

            1. I’m laughing so hard at the team driving…. You got to do what you got to do!

            2. I’ve taught enough people how to drive a semi (18 wheeler) that I can generally manage to power/speed shift (change gears without using a clutch) from the passenger seat with my left hand. Going to be a lost art soon, as more and more semi’s are automatic these days.

          2. Yes, driving manual transmissions in the mountains towing is what convinced hubby to go with automatic on the towing rigs. But we didn’t go manual on the home base vehicle until ’94(?). Now? Difficult to find manual transmissions.

      7. I don’t know how to drive stick. It’s Mama Raptor’s fault.

        Wait, wait, put down the torches and pitchforks and tar and feathers and let me explain.

        See, before he met Mama Raptor, Papa Raptor ALWAYS owned cars with manual transmissions. They were cheaper and more fuel efficient than an automatic, back in the day. But Mama Raptor, so far as I have been able to ascertain, never learned how to drive stick. She learned to drive with an automatic. And since Mama Raptor a) has no patience when it comes to learn how to do new things and b) is fearful of anything more technologically advanced than a rock, she refused to let Papa Raptor teach her. And so when Papa Raptor’s car that he owned at the time wore out, Mama Raptor hemmed and hawed and harangued (what if my car breaks down and I need to use your car?! Or what if we’re driving in your car and you get sick and I need to rush you to the hospital?! What then?! What then?!) until he gave in and bought a new car with an automatic.

        This was several years before I was old enough to get my Learner’s Permit. So by the time I was finally old enough to learn how to drive, the only cars available for me to learn on were Mama Raptor’s minivan and Papa Raptor’s sedan, both of which (obviously) had automatics.

        1. So much of our basic skills are a product of luck.
          I would have done the same as the Mama. In fact , my Mom made Dad get all automatics for the same reasons. By that time we had learned sticks on all the old cars.

  17. I am compelled to admit that I dread the transition period, and weep at the friends and family who won’t survive the event. I wish that I could be as sanguine about the outcome…

    However, as the Catholics say, despair is a sin. How do I maximize the chances of a favorable result?

    1. Off-hand and IMO: learn, learn, learn. Even more, be ready to teach.

      And bite down on the perfectly-justified “I told you so”. (This is the one that’s horrifically difficult for me. I know from experience that my mouth may not say it, but my face does.)

      1. OT but amusing. When I saw last Friday’s SCotUS decision dump, my first thought was to sigh, “Oh great, all the textbooks will update over the summer and I’ll have to grab the updates and see how [redacted] wants Roe taught now.” I like teaching history. I dislike living through interesting bits of history.

        1. This is one of the many reasons I would’ve never made a good teacher. That, and my tendency to digress. And digress about my digressions.

          I would love to be bored. I pray to be bored. It seems to be falling on deaf Ears, but I trust that Himself knows better than I do. (Admittedly, there’s some serious spiritual sideeye going on lately, but that’s on me.)

        2. “…living through interesting bits of history.” Well, it may be apocryphal, but it is supposed to be a classic Chinese curse. And apocryphal or not, I fully agree.

  18. I’ll have you know that I’ve been listening to The Carpenters style music on Pandora, and it’s all your fault!

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